About Us

The Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf is located in Belleville, Ontario and was established in 1870. It is one of the three provincial schools for Deaf students in Ontario. Our school provides instruction for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. American Sign Language (ASL) and English are the primary languages of study and communication.

We teach the Ontario Curriculum and students are assessed using the Ontario standards and expectations. Our school uses a Bilingual-Biliteracy and Bicultural Education approach, which facilitate students’ language acquisition, learning and social development through American Sign Language (ASL) and English. This approach uses ASL as the language of communication, and both ASL and English as languages of instruction and study. As a result, ASL proficiency creates teaching and learning experiences that increase the academic achievement of every student. The benefits of this model are evidenced in the classroom and extends to community connections by developing the students’ skills to become life-long learners.

A wide range of technology literacy tools (e.g., Smart boards, IMACs, computers) are used to support students’ literacy skills in American Sign Language, English and the Ontario Curriculum.

At Sir James Whitney we take a student-centred approach that utilizes ASL and multi-cultural heritage information in teaching. We strive for a system of support for our students in a community that recognizes their uniqueness inclusively. Students’ social and emotional growth is a focus of the Ontario Curriculum and at Sir James Whitney, we foster collaboration among home, student lodging, and school. 

Our teachers develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for students who require modified or specialized programs. Classes are small by regular school standards, allowing considerable individual attention and programming.

Students living in the following areas are eligible to apply for admission to the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf, Belleville: All boards in the Eastern, Northeastern, Midnorthern, and Northwestern Ontario regions, plus the Durham Board of Education Durham Region R.C.S.S. Board, Haliburton Board of Education, Hastings County Board Education, Hastings-Prince Edward County R.C.S.S. Board, Prince Edward County Board of Education, Northumberland and Newcastle Board of Education, Peterborough-Victoria-Northumberland and Newcastle R.C.S.S. Board and Victoria County Board of Education.

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